When I was downsizing my closet, I found a few sweatshirts that I would never wear again, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of. T-shirts went in the quilt box, but what do do with sweatshirts?
(Click through to Flickr for larger sizes on all photos.)
- One sweatshirt you will never wear again
- One pillow form (I used the 16 inch for sweatshirts sizes XL & 2XL. Check the size of your motif, and adjust any numbers in the instructions accordingly.)
- Dressmaking shears
- Seam ripper
- Measuring tape
- Sewing machine with appropriate thread
- Buttons or Velcro
- Needle & thread
Step One: Make it Manageable
Use a seam ripper to take off the collar, because there probably isn’t room for any waste at the top of the motif.
(I also used it to remove the kangaroo pocket from one sweatshirt.)
If there’s plenty of waste fabric, cut off the arms and bottom band. Otherwise, use the seam ripper here as well to conserve material.
Step Two: Cut to size
For a 16″ pillow, you’ll need the sweatshirt cut to 17″ for a little sliding room and room for a seam. IMPORTANT! You’ll cut the front a little longer (4 inches). This will create a flap that will be folded over and attached (via buttons or Velcro) to the back of the pillow, envelope-like. That way you can take off the sweatshirt and wash it separately.
It’ll look like this when it’s finished, but before buttons go on:
Step Two, part one: Cutting the front
In order to center the design on the pillow, I measured the width of the motif, subtracted it from 17, divided the result by two, and pinned the sweatshirt for cutting at those points. No, really! It makes sense!
- Motif is 14 inches wide
- 17 inches – 14 inches = 3 inches
- 3 inches divided by 2 = 1.5 inches
- Set pins/markers 1.5 inches from each side of the motif, and cut along that line.
Most sweatshirts didn’t have quite enough room to center the motif between the top and bottom, so I measured down from the neck at least 21 inches (17 inches PLUS the 4 inches for the flap) and set the pin. Cut straight across the bottom and the top.
Step Two, part two: Cutting the back
The back is easy — just cut a 17×17 inch square.
Result? Two pieces! One square (back), one rectangle (front).
Pin the pieces right side in.
Sew sides and top.
Hem bottom flap.
buttons buttons buttons